Vladimir Coufal has backed “unbelievable” Declan Rice to win silverware with Arsenal this season despite suffering Carabao Cup defeat on his return to West Ham.
Rice joined Arsenal for £105million in the summer after a decade with the Hammers, who he captained to Europa Conference League success in his final match with the club.
The 24-year-old has started the season in fine form but was unable to help the Gunners fight back in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.Declan Rice applauded the West Ham fans on his first return to the club with Arsenal (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Rice came off the bench to a mixed reception as the hosts ran out comfortable 3-0 winners courtesy of a Ben White own goal and second-half strikes from Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen.
West Ham will now face a trip to Liverpool in the quarter-finals, but Coufal believes Rice will add to the Community Shield won by Arsenal in August.
“I think they’ll win something for sure,” the Czech Republic full-back said.
“They’ve won the Community Shield already, so he already has a trophy with Arsenal. I think they’re not too disappointed to lose this game.
“It was something special, to see him on the other side of the pitch. He’s doing an incredible job for Arsenal, even better than he did for us.
“He’s an unbelievable player. It was strange to see him in different colours but we wish him all the best. He came into our changing room to say hello and see how we are.”
Arsenal may still be contesting for the Premier League and Champions League, with the FA Cup yet to come, but Coufal is targeting Carabao Cup success to add to the winners’ medal in the Europa Conference League.
“Of course we would like to win another trophy,” he said.
A trip to Anfield awaits 👊 pic./JNqQ47qxAh
— West Ham United (WestHam) November 1, 2023
“It’s still very difficult. We know Man City are out, Man United, now Arsenal, but still there are a lot of good teams remaining.
“Every win against a team from the top six or top end of the table is really good. It was Carabao Cup but we needed this win after three difficult defeats in a row.”
Mikel Arteta made six changes to the Arsenal side that lost in east London but his starting XI still boasted nine full internationals.
One of the most experienced of those, Italy midfielder Jorginho, captained the visitors and he is pleased they can attempt to quickly bounce back from the defeat as they travel to face Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday evening.Jorginho (left) captained Arsenal as they lost at West Ham (Bradley Collyer/PA)
“It’s great that the game is in three days because it’s a chance to turn things around, and turn this feeling because it’s not the best feeling, of course,” he said.
“We can go and try to put things right. The only thing we can take from this tough result is how we need to be much better at competing for the next game, because if you’re going to play at this level, you won’t win for sure.
“So that’s what I think we need to improve on for the next game to try and win there.”